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Salaries/wages in Germany: minimum and average salaries in Germany by profession, salary tables for 2021, 2020

This page provides data on average and minimum salaries in Germany by year, both cumulative data and data individually for many professions. Special tables show the average salaries for the countries of Europe and the European Union. Also in our special catalogue you will find information on salaries by profession in Germany. In addition, an individual page on the website is dedicated to the information on taxes and charges from salaries in Germany (gross / net).


§ Minimum salary rate in Germany as of 2021, 2020

Since 2015, the law on the minimum wage/salary rate (Mindestlohngesetz dated August 11, 2014 (Federal Law Gazette/BGBl. I S. 1348)) has been in force throughout Germany. The initial minimum rate was 8.50 euros per 1 hour of work.

Thus, every employee in Germany, with some exceptions, is entitled to a statutory minimum salary. This law also regulates the deadline for the payment of salaries, namely: the salary shall be paid to the employee at the agreed time, but not later than the last working banking day in the month following the month, in which the work was performed.

The minimum salary rate in Germany as of 2021 is 9.50 euros gross per 1 hour of work.

Minimum salary rate in Germany

What is the minimum wage (basic salary) in Germany? The minimum salary in Germany as of 2021 is 9.50 euros gross per 1 hour of work. In some industries, the law establishes higher minimum wage, exceeding the specified minimum salary rate by 1 - 2 euros. The highest minimum salary rate is set in construction for skilled workers and exceeds the total subsistence minimum wage by more than 50%. The table below offers the calculation of the minimum wage for 1 day, week and month, based on the total hourly minimum wage rate.

Table 1: Minimum wage in Germany as of 2021

Time period In euros In USD * In GBP *
1 hour 9.50 11.51 8.27
1 day (8 hours) 76.00 92.12 66.16
1 week (40 hours) 380.00 460.60 330.80
1 month (160 hours) 1'520.00 1'842.39 1'323.21

Minimum wage rate change in Germany

The minimum wage in Germany is increased annually. Table 2 below shows the change in the minimum wage by year.

Table 2: Change in the minimum wage rate in Germany by year

Year Hourly rate Monthly payment, 160 hours
01.01.2015 8.50 € 1360.00 €
01.01.2017 8.84 € 1414.40 €
01.01.2019 9.19 € 1470.40 €
01.01.2020 9.35 € 1496.00 €
01.01.2021 9.50 € 1520.00 €
01.07.2021 9.60 € 1536.00 €
01.01.2022 9.82 € 1571.20 €
01.07.2022 10.45 € 1672.00 €

Interesting facts about the minimum salary rate in Germany

According to the Federal Office of Statistics, in Germany, before the introduction of the law on the minimum salary rate, there used to be about 4 million jobs paid less than the initial minimum rate of 8.50 euros per 1 hour of work. In East Germany, this made 11% of all jobs. After the introduction of the law on the minimum wage, the number of minimum wage workers has reached 1.9 million jobs. Students and trainees earn less than the minimum wage. More women than men work at the minimum salary.

For information on the minimum pension in Germany, see the next page: Minimum, social pension in Germany

You can find information about unemployment benefits in Germany on our website: Unemployment benefits in Germany

§ Average salary in Germany, 2021, 2020

The average salary rate in Germany is not established by law; it varies depending on a range of factors, which include: the land(federated state) or region of Germany, level of education, size of enterprise, industry, gender, and some other factors, which are discussed below on this page.

The average gross salary in Germany as of 2019, amounted to 3'994.00 euros for 1 month of work.

Average salary rate in Germany

The average gross salary in Germany, including all allowances, additional bonuses and payments, prior to withholding taxes and duties, as of 2019, amounted to 3'994.00 euros for 1 month of work.

Detailed information about the average salary in Germany a month and a year, net and gross, can be found on an individual page of our website.

§ Wages increase index in Germany, change in real and nominal salaries

Table 3 below, as well as the following charts, shows the change in German wages rates by year. Two indices are presented as indicators of changes in the amount of wages: the Real Wage Index (Ger.: Reallohnindex) and the Nominal Wage Index (Ger.: Nominallohnindex). Both indices represent the percentage change in wages/salaries in relation to the year taken as a basis of 100%.

Nominallohnindex - is a % change in salaries compared to the year taken as the base year.
Reallohnindex - is the Nominallohnindex adjusted for the consumer price change index, i.e. it reflects a real increase in salaries.

Table 3: Change in monthly gross salaries in Germany by year

Calendar year Salary,
in euros
Reallohnindex,
as %
Nominallohnindex,
as %
2019 3'994.00 105.3 110.6
2018 3'880.00 104.1 108.0
2017 3'771.00 102.8 104.9
2016 3'703.00 101.8 102.3
2015 3'612.00 100.0 100.0
2014 3'527.00 97.7 97.4
2013 3'449.00 95.9 94.8
2012 3'391.00 96.0 93.5
2011 3'311.00 95.5 91.2
2010 3'227.00 94.4 88.3

Chart 1. Salary change indices by year

Talk about raising wages at an enterprise in Germany

In Germany, it is considered normal to talk with the boss and immediate supervisor about a salary increase. CEOs are ready for such conversations and expect them. When talking with the boss about a salary increase, as advised in the magazine Spiegel, you need to follow the rules set out below:

§ Salaries of men and women, comparison of salaries by year

In Germany, the real wage rate is influenced by various factors, including the difference between the real salaries of men and women. As can be seen from Table 4 below, men in Germany earn more than women. The following table presents data on changes in wages (gross) by year in Germany with full employment and all supplementary/fringe benefits, with the average salary of men and women considered individually.

Table 4: Comparison of average salaries of men and women in Germany

Calendar year Salary of men,
euros per month
Salary of women,
euros per month
Difference, euros
2019 4'181.00 3'559.00 622.00
2018 4'075.00 3'432.00 643.00
2017 3'964.00 3'330.00 634.00
2016 3'898.00 3'258.00 640.00
2015 3'810.00 3'161.00 649.00
2014 3'728.00 3'075.00 653.00
2013 3'645.00 3'007.00 638.00
2012 3'595.00 2'925.00 670.00
2011 3'508.00 2'861.00 647.00
2010 3'416.00 2'791.00 625.00

As can be seen from Table 4 above, in 2019, women on average earned less than 622.00 euros per month, which makes a difference of 14.9%. Over the past few years, the wage gap between men and women has been gradually decreasing.

For information on the average pension in Germany, see the following page: Average pension in Germany

§ Factors affecting the level of salary in Germany

The level of wages by region, by land of Germany

According to the Federal Office of Statistics as of 2019, the level of salaries in Germany depends on the region of Germany and can vary by up to 80%. Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Bremen, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Saarland have the highest salaries, they are followed by Lower Saxony, Hamburg, Rhineland-Palatinate, then by Berlin, Schleswig-Holstein, Saxony, Thuringia and finally at the bottom of the list there are Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt.

Thus, the highest salaries are received in the southern region of Germany, while the lowest - in the regions of the former East Germany, formerly the GDR.

Salary amount depending on the size of the enterprise

At larger enterprises, salaries are significantly higher than those at small firms in the same professions. For example, the salary of doctors in an enterprise with more than 1,000 employees is by 30% different from the salaries of doctors in an enterprise with less than 500 employees. As to the salary of engineers under the similar conditions, it can vary by up to 10%.

Salary depending on the level of education (educational background)

The level of education also impacts the rate of salary, the higher the education, the higher the salary.

Salaries by industry

Salaries also depend on the industry, in which the person works. The following list shows the industries, starting with those, in which salaries are the highest.

§ Salaries by profession - a catalogue of professions and average salaries in Germany

What follows is a directory of salaries information by occupation in Germany. To go to information about salaries by profession, click on the following links.



§ Links to useful websites

Footnotes:

* The EUR exchange rate in the tables is taken as of 26 february 2021 and amounts to 1.21 USD or 0.87 GBP at the European Central Bank exchange rate. The EUR, USD and GBR exchange rates in Germany


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